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It was a surprise announcement.
And both heartening, and a little disappointing.
Word broke Thursday morning that LA’s Vision Zero Alliance had finally released its long-awaited Action Plan, explaining how the plan to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by the end of this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025.
While the report hits all the appropriate notes, it’s a little short on specifics.
For instance, it talks about the need to reduce speeds to drive down LA’s worst in the nation traffic death rate, but doesn’t actually commit to reducing speed limits to 20 or 25 mph, as other major cities have done. And it discusses working to change laws at the state level, without stating whether they will fight to remove the deadly 85th percentile law that drives up speeds and destroys livability — not to mention survivability — on city streets.
However, there are a few specific actions we can follow to verify that the plan is on track:
Vision Zero means designing a street network that is safe for all modes. The City will:
Install live-saving improvements on the priority corridors and intersections along the High-Injury Network, such as optimizing four-hundred traffic signals and redesigning at least twelve miles of City streets every year to accommodate safe transportation for all.
Update 100 percent of the expired speed surveys on the priority corridors by the end of 2017.
Update all City street-design standards used by the Bureau of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of City Planning to be consistent with the National Association of City
Unanswered is whether the city will address the chronic understaffing problems at LADOT so they actually have the capability to work on Vision Zero, without throwing the hard-fought Mobility Plan out the window.
Some of those bicycling deaths could be prevented simply by building out the low-stress network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the plan, giving riders a safer and more comfortable alternative to riding busier streets.
Also unanswered is how they will solve the problem of recalcitrant councilmembers who attempt to block desperately needed safety improvements in their districts, as Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz have already done.
Not to mention LA’s rampant NIMBYism, which rises up to oppose virtually any changes on our streets, especially if there’s the slightest suspicion it might slow traffic down.
Which is pretty much the point.
Today’s common theme, bike riders behaving badly.
Probably not the best idea to park your bike in front of a Palo Alto police station with a can of Colt 45 instead of a water bottle.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo police are looking for a butt-slapping bike rider who assaulted two women on campus in less than a week. Chances are, it’s not the same jerk who’s been assaulting English women in the same fashion for the last month.
Canadian police are looking for a bike-riding man who tried, and failed, to break into a business with a rock.
The Austrian man who was busted for trying to ride naked into a hotel in eight degree weather says he was trying to impress a girl. Although getting fired from his job as a pastry chef at the hotel probably isn’t the way to do it. And someone should explain to him about shrinkage.
A Pennsylvania bike rider was apparently under the influence when he was killed by a 17-year old driver; the victim had a water bottle filled with booze, and a dope pipe in his pocket.
University of Florida students are unnerved by a man riding his bike around campus wearing a swastika. Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys. And sometimes they’re just assholes. But even assholes have a constitutional right to be one.
Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a distracted driver gets a whole 75 days in jail for killing a cyclist while apparently checking his email.
But not as cheap as Illinois, where a drunk driver cops a plea for killing a man who was riding his bike home from work, in exchange for a whopping ten days behind bars. Ten effing days. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.
And a three-time Brit traffic serial killer gets his suspended license back three years early because it’s an inconvenience to his family. It was probably pretty inconvenient for the families of his victims, too.
And then we wonder why nothing ever seems to stop the carnage on our streets.
Nice to hear from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, who offers news from LA County’s too often neglected Eastside.
Even if the news isn’t exactly what we want to hear.
Like the bad news that yet another local bike shop is going out of business, as the popular Coates Cyclery is closing is doors. And this time, it’s his LBS. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the first link.
The 3rd annual Night on Broadway will take place this Saturday, with over 60,000 people expected to celebrate with free events and music on DTLA’s main street; there will be a bike valet, so you can leave your car at home.
Santa Monica Planning is hosting a ride with SaMo’s mayor this Sunday. LA mayor Eric Garcetti agreed to ride with bicyclists when he was running for office four years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has bothered to ask him to do it. Which should be a big hint to the LACBC, the BAC, LADOT…
Also on Sunday, community coalition Si Se Mueve is holding a free community bike ride through Northeast LA.
Yet another Sunday event, as Walk Bike Glendale is sponsoring their first Women’s Ride of 2017.
And one last reminder about the LACBC’s rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion on Monday in DTLA. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.
A Welsh Olympic gold medalist says there’s still a lot of sexism in cycling, but it’s not blatantly obvious. And the fluffy music played at women’s races doesn’t help.
NPR talks with the filmmaker behind Icarus, an amateur cyclist who filmed himself doping, only to accidently uncover the Russian doping scandal.
US Cycling membership now includes legal benefits, including a free consultation, reduced legal fees, and priority consideration for pro bono legal representation. Although virtually any bike lawyer will offer a free consultation.
The LA Times looks at bike trends for 2017, from comfort bikes and ebikes to lighted helmets and ultra bright headlights.
Speaking of the Times, they make the bizarre claim that ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. They’re a great alternative to driving, but it’s ridiculous to claim ebikes are greener than bicycling or walking.
If Elon Musk is building a tunnel in LA, can we ask him to put in a bike lane?
An editorial in USC’s Daily Trojan calls California’s ban on headphones for bike riders a new, overbearing law. Except the law only prohibits wearing headphones in or on both ears, rather than one. And it’s not new. Wearing headphones in both ears has been illegal for years, just as it is for drivers; all that changed with the new law was to eliminate loopholes to include any form of headphones or earpieces.
This Wednesday is the deadline for Santa Clarita high school seniors to apply for a college scholarship in honor of fallen cyclist, musician and teacher Rod Bennett.
Long Beach is looking for a Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officer. They had me right up to the healthy living part.
Let’s face it. CiclaValley is probably having more fun than the rest of us these days.
Momentum Magazine previews April’s Sea Otter Classic at the famed Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, calling the world’s premier cycling festival.
San Jose’s Good Karma Bikes helps teens learn how to keep their bikes in good working order while teaching job skills.
Fresno puts off a vote on the city’s new Active Transportation Plan that would add 950 miles of bike lanes, routes and trails.
Bicycling reviews the warmest clothes for winter riding. And they list six epic bike events you probably don’t know about, including two in California.
Heartbreaking story from Texas, as cyclists react to the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old racer; his own mother found his body and mangled bike after he didn’t come home from a ride. Thanks to Shannon for the tip.
A recent Rutgers University study concludes that concerns about racial profiling are a barrier to bicycling in communities of color. It’s not just their imagination; blacks are more likely to be stopped and ticketed by police in northern cities, as well as in the deep south. And from what I’ve heard, that goes for black and Latino riders in SoCal, too.
A New Jersey paper recommends renting a bike when you travel to Europe, rather than trying to take yours with you.
I want to be like him when I grow up. A Chattanooga national masters champ is doing back-to-back 75-mile rides to celebrate his 75th birthday.
Cycling Weekly lists eight reasons you should talk your friends into bicycling. They also list six “essential” tips for losing weight by bicycling, all of which you could figure out on your own.
Seventy-one percent of people responding to an online poll in one Canadian town think winter bicycling should be banned; one bighearted driver thinks running over a cyclist could provide extra traction on icy streets.
Toronto ups the ante for the combination of a coffee shop and bike shop by throwing in an art gallery, too.
London’s police department is going to put undercover cops on bikes to bust drivers making dangerous passes; they want to send the message that anyone on a bike could be a cop. We’ve been trying to talk the LAPD into trying that for years, but without success so far.
Britain sets aside £300 million — the equivalent of $376 million — for bicycling, then spends it on other things.
An Irish cyclist tries to reassure local businesses that bike lanes and parking can coexist, and that bike riders shop, too.
In a truly bizarre case, Dutch police have filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice against a UN lawyer from Jamaica who claimed she had been brutalized by cops who arrested her when she got off her bike and walked it across a busy street.
Who needs a mountain when you’ve got a parking garage? Adelaide, Australia cyclists compete in their own indoor hill climb. Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the news.
Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new world record for the longest single-file line of moving bicycle traveling together, with 1,186 riders. Even that’s probably not enough to convince some drivers it’s better to let cyclists ride abreast.
And this is what happens when a town gets serious about promoting bicycling, without getting too serious.
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